Winter is gorgeous because snow coats the ground and everything else. As beautiful and as harmless as snow seems, it can be incredibly dangerous and difficult all at the same time. Being on the road in snowy conditions comes with its own set of challenges. Getting stuck in the snow can be a huge problem to get out of, especially if you’re alone in the car.
Keep a shovel in your car during the cold months. A shovel can be an immense help if you get stuck in the snow because it will help you dig your way out or clear a path through the snow. Another important thing to note is whether or not your car is a front wheel drive or rear wheel drive. This is important because it matters where you focus your energies and how the car is stuck.
If you find yourself stuck in a snowbank, do not panic. Caving in to stress and worry will only make the situation worse. Take a few breaths and get out of the car to see what the situation looks like. Grab the shovel and clear out around your tires. Sometimes there is so much snow built up around the tires they can’t get traction to get out. Try slowly accelerating forward and slowly reversing. The slow and steady motion can help you get enough traction and energy to get out of the situation and the snow. If there are people with you or someone stops to help, have them push the car while it stays in neutral. The momentum of people pushing and the lack of force from spinning tires can often free cars. If you still can’t get out, start adding traction. Traction can be anything from carpet to floor mats to kitty litter. Cars usually get stuck because the tires spin and can’t get traction on the slippery ice. If there is traction for the tires to cling to, they will be able to get out of the snow. Having ice melt or sand handy can also help. The ice melt will take a little while, but it can melt the ice or snow so you can get unstuck. The sand can add traction. Worst case scenario, call for help. Tow trucks are equipped to handle these kinds of situations.
Avoid spinning tires. If you floor the gas pedal, you will cause your tires to spin in the snow. This creates a smooth channel around the tires, which is impossible to get out of. The moment you feel your tires start to spin, take your foot off the gas.
Being stuck in the snow is stressful, but it is not a big deal. It happens to people all over all the time. Keep a few things in your trunk, like a shovel, ice melt or traction device, an ice scraper to help you stay safe in a snowy situation.